New Zealand can already feel the atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup™ at its Austrian training camp, even if they are thousands of miles from South Africa in the Austrian Alps.
"Psychologically we're really in that World Cup mode now," coach Ricki Herbert said on the team's website. "We've got teams like England and Japan preparing (in Austria) so there's a real sense that we're back on the world stage again."
The All Whites arrived on Wednesday in Austria for a week-long training camp to acclimatise to playing at higher altitudes, like several other teams, including England, Spain and the Netherlands.
New Zealand will stay in Sankt Lambrecht around 1,000 metres above sea level until Sunday, before switching to Bad Waltersdorf where they will remain until 5 June.
There's a real sense that we're back on the world stage again.
During this time, the team will play two warm-up matches: against fellow FIFA World Cup participants Serbia onSaturday in Klagenfurt, followed by Slovenia in Maribor on 4 June.
However, the team will have to do without two players on Saturday. Midfielder Tim Brown did not make it to Austria after undergoing surgery for a shoulder injury, and Middlesbrough striker Chris Killen has briefly deserted his team to get married in England on Saturday, having set the date over a year ago before New Zealand's qualification. He will be back on hand for the team's friendly match against Slovenia.
Until then, the All Whites were enjoying some peace and quiet after much excitement and public attention at home.
"It's been euphoria, even in Australia it was the same. Speaking to the staff and the players it's good to be here," concluded Herbert.